For the second year running, young people and adults from the Vilonia Church of Christ have raised funds, packed their bags and headed to the Pacific Northwest. The purpose was to serve total strangers in Aberdeen, Wash. The church in Vilonia has worked in tandem with the Church of Christ in Aberdeen in service projects to help the less fortunate.

The Vilonia team was led by youth minister Robert Shepherd and consisted of Robert and his wife, Carrie, and their son, Evan. Patrick Fay, who serves as an elder at the Vilonia church, traveled with his children, Hannah and Samuel Fay. Also, Josh Davis of Naylor, accompanied his daughters, Rebecca and Lauren Davis. Robert and Michal Swain and their son, Jamie Swain, were also a part of the team.

The team left on Saturday, June 28 and flew into Seattle. They camped out in the church building for the duration of the trip. For the next week, the team painted a two-story house and repaired interior walls inside the home, mowed lawns and cleaned yards and built a musical fence for the Child Advocacy Center in neighboring Montesano.

A very memorable service project was serving food at the Grays Harbor County Homeless Shelter. Not only did the young people serve men and women who seldom are given respect, but they also sat down and visited with them.

The group sang songs for the 50 or so people at the shelter that day. One morning the group made breakfast burritos and handed them out to the homeless on the streets of Aberdeen. On Sunday, Robert Swain and Robert Shepherd delivered lessons during Sunday morning services. A free day was added into the schedule and the group spent that day in the Olympic National Forest. The group flew home on Aug. 5.

The ability to use your time, money and even yourself to serve the less fortunate is a lesson that our young people need to learn. We came home to Vilonia knowing that we do not have to travel half way across our country to be servants for Christ ... we can be servants right here in Vilonia.